What's Wrong With Religion - The Answer to Negativity
Pastor Jason Butterick explores the answer good religion gives to negativity. Hopelessness is not a fruit of the spirit. What you focus on becomes you. If you only see and find bad things happening, you will think everyone and everything is bad. The ultimate bad news story was the crucifixion of Jesus. The ultimate good news story came three days later. We should give thanks in every circumstance, have hope for the future, call out societal wrongs, but more so cast a vision for a better future. Good religion reminds us that hope prevails every evil.
What's Wrong with Religion - The Answer to Judgment
Pastor Jason Butterick explores four problems with judgmental religion through the story of the woman caught in adultery in the Gospel of John. Ironically, in many of the surviving copies of John, the copyists marked this passage to be removed from the next handwritten copy. Judging is selective, destructive, hypocritical, and violates the example and teaching of Jesus. God's judgment is nearly always depicted as occurring on a final day, a judgment day well detached from earthly times. And it is not by faith or theology, but by acts of loving-kindness to people in need. Or the lack of such acts. Jesus is clear that the best way to serve God is to serve others, rather than deputizing ourselves as God's morality police or justices. Good religion encourages us not to judge, but to engage in service to bring joy to God, to assist the physically, emotionally, and spiritually hurting, and to find true meaning and fulfillment in life beyond our self-righteous perceptions.
Whats Wrong With Religion-Why Not Get Rid of It
Pastor Jason Butterick explores both the good and the bad of religion. Do we really need it? Could we live without it? Probably not. While there are many examples of bad religion in the world, and many of its followers do horrible and hate-filled things in the name of it, the answer to bad examples is not to get rid of it altogether. What is needed is good religion, not no religion. Some of the loudest purveyors of Christianity are the poorest examples of what following Christ is to be about. Religion has its limitations and problems, but it does help us find purpose, meaning, and has been a catalyst for good things in art, music, and education.
Created Anew - Descent into the Story
Pastor Jason Butterick reveals the power and call of mountaintop encounters with God. When Jesus took Peter, James, and John up to the mountain, he was following a familiar path to demonstrate God's will and purpose. For it was from a mountaintop that God called Moses to deliver the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. It was to the same mountaintop that Moses and the Israelites returned to receive God's instructions for right living with God and neighbor. When Elijah was threatened with death by Queen Jezebel, he fled to this mountain and encountered God's presence in the sound of sheer silence (or still small voice in King James). In wondrous glory, Jesus encounters Moses and Elijah, and it is tempting to stay. But God wants us to come down the mountain to share this experience. Do we share our mountaintop photos more easily than our encounters with God? Do we listen to Jesus?
Created Anew Being the Epiphany
Pastor Jason Butterick reveals the trouble with know it all's; they tend to be less loving of others. A sign of strength is not drawn from a piece of our mind, but sharing pieces of our hearts. To be strong in the faith is to lift others who are vulnerable. We cannot limit ourselves but are called to share and lift the weak among us for their faith. We can be wrong when we only think we are right. Love is always right. It offers wisdom and light, rather than thought and opinion. Do you share one more than the other?
Created Anew Creative Connection
Pastor Jason Butterick explores the story of Jonah, the most miserably successful prophet of the Old Testament. God directed Jonah to speak to the city of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians had conquered and abused the Israelite people, and Jonah thought he could outrun and refuse to do what God called him to do. Through sympathetic sailors, a fishy encounter, and a one day, five-word message to change, an entire city was redeemed. In what ways is God using us to connect with those we feel outside the possibility of redemption?
Created Anew-Christian Freedom
Pastor Jason Butterick explores what it means to be free for God's purpose or taking freedom for selfish needs. Our freedom in Christ should call us to give freedom for doing God's work with our hearts, minds, talents and strengths, rather that indulgences. Often liberty is misunderstood and leads to dangerous behaviors and actions. Our liberty from Christ gives us permission to serve others, not ourselves.